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"Yes," said the philosopher.

"Did you ever eat a Golden Melon?" said
the pilgrim; " or can you sell or give me
one?"

"I presume," said the professor, in a
condescending tone, " that the foreign gentleman
who addresses me intends to ask if I have
tasted the common gourd sold in old times,
as we read, at a penny a dozen. I beg to say
that I have not eaten it, and also to inform
the stranger, that I am not a common
market-gardener; but a professor of
Melonisation in the Abstractthat is to say, the
melonisation of Europe, Asia, Africa,
America, and any other grand divisions of the
globe that may, hereafter, be discovered."

The pilgrim was, for a moment, bewildered
by this storm of tine words rained down
upon him; but now his anger was stirred up
within him, and he exclaimed:—" Brooks
without water! Clouds without rain! Phantoms
of the sandy wilderness that lead on
the thirsting traveller to water-courses that
have long been dry! By Allah! this is
marvellously strange, that I come from a far
country to the land of the melon growers,
hoping to find the happy people who eat the
fruit of Paradise, and what do I find?—Flat
seedsmen and rounders; light yellows and
golden browns; sandy boys, clay gardeners
and deep soilers; iron and golden frames;
melon schools and libraries; professors of
melonisation, anti-melonites, and miserable
eaters of potatoes;—in the name of the
Prophet! anything and everything but
melons! Truly, there is a cry of melons in
your land and no more. I shake off the dust
of my sandals against you, and return to the
wilderness."

As he journeyed towai'd the desert, he
passed by the dwellings of the eaters of
potatoes and anti-melonites, who came out
to meet him, and said, " It never existed!
There never was a golden gourd, and never
will be! Travel no further in search of it;
but come, share our potatoes, and be
contented."

But the pilgrimunwilling to surrender
the hope that had led him so farwent on
his way, far over the sandy desert, in search
of the Golden Melon, and, at last, found it
growing, without a golden frame, on an oasis
blessed by Allah, and by streams of living
water.

WHAT MR BURLEIGH COULD NOT
SEE.

I ONCE had a strong liking for a piece of
country extending from the metropolis to a
small market- town about forty miles distant,
not at that time taken out of the hands of
our dear old coaching friends, that we all
loved so well. I liked the town because it
was rather faded; because it was in an
undecided transition state; uncertain whether
it should accept, in a friendly spirit, the
insidious advances of the proposed branch from
the remote main line of railway, or
simultaneously close the shutters of every shop
and house, and emigrate to Australia in a
solid, compact body of village deserters. I
liked it, because it was a sulky coaching
chrysalis, determined not to develope without a
severe struggle into the railway butterfly.
I loved to hear its innkeepers, its fly
proprietors, and its runners of coaches, converse
in the dingy, smoke-dried tap of the principal
hotel upon the probability of the railway ever
reaching them; and the injurious effects
which it would have upon trade if it ever
came so far. I wished for nothing more
interesting than a discourse from such men
upon the destiny of railway enterprise, its
operation upon the country at large, and its
final operation upon itself. I have seen
a small job-master (the owner of two
broughams and three gigs, which he let out
almost at his own price to commercial
travellers, and others whose business or pleasure
compelled or induced them to post across the
country) at times driven almost mad by the
strengthening rumours of the advancing iron-
road: at others, when inflated with an extra
pipkin of the best local beer, drawing himself
up to his full height, and expanding to more
than his full breadth, and resolving to oppose,
single-handed, the tide of the threatened
improvement. Some gravely shook their
heads, and expressed a doubt whether, with
all his capital, he was equal to the task;
others hoped to see the day when a station
would be opened in the town, but they very
much doubted it.

I will not conceal the object that took me
so frequently to this placeit was fishing. I
will not divulge the name of my retreat, even
now, because, like all true sportsmen, I am
essentially selfish. I am not yet too old and
rheumatic to give up the pleasures of the rod
and line, and I do not therefore hold myself
bound to publish the name of a town that
can boast of a trout stream worth all the
subscription fisheries in the three kingdoms.
In those days it was a six hours' journey
(costing, with the perquisites of coachman
and guard, between one and two pounds), to
reach my favourite and nameless retreat.
Now I can run down in two hours at almost
any period of the day for a few shillings,
which is all the more reason for my secrecy.
When I feel unwell in mind and body, or
when a chancery suit in which I have been
engaged for the last thirty years (engaged,
and yet am still alive to tell the story!)
becomes more than usually troublesome, I seize
my old fishing companions, packing a few
things hurriedly in a small black hand-bag,
and take wing for my peaceful hermitage.
It does not seem so secluded now, or so
pleasantly distant from the metropolis as it did
in the old coaching days; and sometimes I
fancy that I can see the London smoke rising
and floating above the trees, and hear the

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